A Texas catch?
There is a lot of chatter about the Sox pursuing one of the Texas Rangers’ excess catchers. While this makes some sense, I also know that Theo Epstein rarely does what is expected. If I were to make a wager, it would be that he resigns Jason Varitek, and that ‘tek and Kevin Cash remain the Sox catching tandem in ’09. Here are my reasons for this belief:
- Despite Scott Boras’ pipe dreams, no one is going to give Varitek $50 million for four years. The Sox will offer $12 million per for two years and Varitek will take it.
- The Rangers are going to ask for more than Theo is willing to give for Saltalamacchia or Laird.
- Theo likes to use a little mis-direction in these matters, so the rumors about Texas can be useful in other negotiations.
This isn’t to say that if the Rangers are a bit more reasonable in their demands Theo will not take advantage… he is, more than anything, an opportunist. I also believe that it is very likely Varitek will have a better offensive year in ’09 than he just did. This year he suffered two debilitating illnesses, from which, I believe, he never fully regained his strength. And then add in the distraction of his messy divorce. It’s easy to imagine that Jason will be stronger and in a better frame of mind next season. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not predicting 30 home runs and a .300 batting average, but I’d be willing to bet he can put up 20 homers and a .260 average wherever he plays next year.
We’ll just have to wait and see if that is in Boston or some other city.